WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2018–The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) and the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund have awarded the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant to two recipients, Ava Stearns, 17, of Chilmark, MA, and Juliette Joseph, 16, of San Diego, CA. The Washington International Horse Show runs October 23-28, 2018, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
“We are thrilled to recognize both Ava and Juliette as recipients of the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant,” said WIHS President and Selection Committee Member Victoria Lowell. “Both of these young women are exceptionally deserving of this honor, and through the generous support of Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund we are honored to recognize both of these extraordinarily deserving young women. WIHS is proud to help emerging equestrian athletes achieve their dream of competing at our sport’s highest level.”
The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is the title sponsor of the WIHS Equitation Finals, and developed the WIHS Equitation Grant as a special component to its partnership with WIHS. The WIHS Equitation Grant will provide Stearns and Joseph, as the grant’s recipients, with the opportunity to participate in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals without the significant financial commitment that typically accompanies the event.
Lindsay Maxwell (far left) presenting last year’s winner of the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.
“The incredible quality of the applicants for the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant speaks volumes about the future of our sport,” said Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund Executive Director and Selection Committee Member Bill Rube. “I can truly say that each of the applicants was impressive in his or her own regard, and, ultimately, the selection committee decided to award both Ava and Juliette with the unique opportunity to represent themselves, their families, and their community at the WIHS Equitation Finals.”
Expenses covered by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant include travel and lodging for the rider and parent, the equitation entry and application fees, equine transportation and stall fees, two tickets to the VIP platform, and more. Now in its 27th year, the WIHS Equitation Finals is a rigorous three-phase competition held over two days. A panel of three judges tests and evaluates the riders in hunter, jumper, and work-off rounds to determine the best of the best.
“I was so excited to receive such an amazing grant for such a special horse show,” said Stearns, who trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan at North Run in Warren, VT. “Last year was the first time I attended to compete in the equitation and it is one of my favorite horse shows. I feel so lucky to have gotten this incredibly generous opportunity.
2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant recipient Ava Stearns competing at last year’s Washington International Horse Show. Photo © Alden Corrigan Media.
“I really appreciate that they make this grant so accessible to everybody,” continued Stearns, who topped both the hunter and jumper phases at the 2017 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. “Every rider wants to go to WIHS and this grant is such an amazing way to make that happen for riders like me who may have not been able to attend otherwise.”
Representing a strong contingent of west coast riders who flock to WIHS each year, Joseph will attend the event for the first time since competing in the Pony Equitation ranks thanks to the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant.
“WIHS is one of the coolest horse shows I have ever been to,” said Joseph, who trains with Robyn Stiegler. “From the horses being on the streets to all the spectators who come to watch, it makes it so special and has an exclusive feeling.
“When I last competed at WIHS, I looked up to the riders doing the equitation and wanted to be there one day,” continued Joseph. “We didn’t know if I would be able to go after I qualified, so I am excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. I am also so happy that I get to go with my dad [Michael] because he doesn’t get to go to a lot of my horse shows.”
Former Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals champions include former world number-one rider Kent Farrington and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward.
Invitations to compete in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals will be sent to the top 40 junior riders based on points earned during the qualifying period in the East Coast and West Coast Leagues, with 30 riders invited from the East Coast League and 10 riders from the West Coast League.
Tickets for WIHS are available online on Ticketmaster.com, at Capital One Arena box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000. For group discounts, contact Capital One Arena Group Sales at 202-661-5061. For more information on tickets and discounts for military, seniors, and students, visit WIHS.org/tickets.
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About WIHS, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of North America’s most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events attracting more than 26,000 spectators annually to Washington, D.C., for Olympic-level competition plus community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders arrive from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington for the President’s Cup, presented by Events DC, the $25,000 Puissance high jump and $50,000 Speed Final on Military Night and Kids’ Day, a free, fun and educational community event. WIHS, an official USEF Heritage Competition, is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization based in Washington, D.C.